Past Demons (Dark War Chronicles Book 4)

By: A.L. Kessler
To Beth, without you DWC would not be what it is today. Thanks for always asking me the tough questions.

Thank you to everyone that made this book possible. To Jennifer for edits and to my team of betas for giving me the feedback I so appreciate. To Brandon for providing me with coffee and understanding the rough days of writing. Thank you to my readers who make the world of DWC worth every dedicated minute. Dream Big.


Four weeks earlier:

Tegan dug her heels into the ground as Markus forced her forward. She couldn’t breathe past the panic. She couldn’t go back to him, not after her time with Lucius. The Father would claim her and she’d never see her master again, she’d never be free again. Memories played through her mind at the thought of him waking —the pain and the humiliation of being with him, feeding him and servicing him. Her stomach lurched at the thought. She couldn’t let him be woken.

She went limp hoping to at least slow Markus down, but she knew she didn’t stand a chance against the vampire. She never did. This was what she had been created for, to feed the Father.

Pain exploded in her head as power went through her and she wished Markus hadn’t kept her blindfolded. The musty and damp air clung to her lungs with every breath she took. Noises surrounded her. From the sound of footsteps she knew that at least two other living creatures stood in the cave with her, further away from her than Markus.

“You promise you’ll leave my granddaughter alone if I do this for you?” A woman’s voice hit Tegan’s ears, one with a thick Italian accent. Tegan’s heart sank at the thought of someone being blackmailed to help raise the Father. Taking a deep breath she tried to figure out her bearings. Markus hadn’t turned her since they walked in, which meant that her back was towards the exit. If she could get away from him she could run back down the hall. Escaping would be a long shot, but cooperating wasn’t a choice.

“Yes, as soon as his soul is back in place, we’ll remove the people watching her. You have my word.” Markus’ voice ran over Tegan’s skin and she knew she could not let him do this. She slammed her heel into the arch of his foot and lurched forward. Two steps away, he grabbed her hair and yanked her back. He held her tight against him.

Tegan heard the rustle of something before the witch spoke again. “He’ll be blood starved when he wakes.”

Markus shook Tegan a bit. “That’s what she’s here for.”

She tried to look towards where the witch’s voice came from. Maybe, just maybe she could reach out to her. “Please, don’t do this. You don’t understand what will happen if you raise him.” She pleaded and tried to jerk away from Markus.

“I know that my granddaughter will live.”

Tegan doubted that, it wasn’t like the Circle to keep their word, especially Markus.

A smooth chanting filled the chamber and an ancient magic brushed over Tegan’s skin. She hissed and tried to pull away from the power. She hated magic, it’s what had made her into what she was. A creature that couldn’t die, made for only one purpose, to feed the beast in the cave. Noises she couldn’t place came after the chanting and power flooded over her. It stole her breath and froze her body. She tried to breathe around it, but couldn’t. A familiar feeling she would never forget. The Father. Her panic escalated, but Markus kept a grip on her arm. She could feel something watching her and with the power in the room she knew it had to be the Father.

“My gift to you.” Markus threw her to the ground. Her hands slapped against the stone floor and she scrambled to get away.

But even with her enhanced speed she couldn’t escape the Father. She screamed when he pinned her to the ground and used her hair to pull her neck to the side. His fangs broke her skin and without any power from him to shield the pain, the bite hurt. Fire tore through her as he drank. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes and she tried to shove him away and claw the cold flesh pressing against her, but nothing helped.

‘Calm, Tegan.’ His voice entered her mind, a thick rolling accented voice that seemed to promise everything.

She couldn’t go back to being his pet. Thrashing around, she tried to fight against him, crying out with each swallow he took of her blood, but he did not budge.

“We’ll let you two get reacquainted and we’ll be outside when you are done. We have a lot to catch you up on.” Markus’ voice sounded far away. “Take her home and call our people back. She kept her word.”

Tegan didn’t hear the witch’s response, only his voice in her head again. ‘This is what you were made for. To feed me. Cease fighting against me and I will dull the pain.’ The only thing that mattered was getting the Father off her.

Her heart slammed against her chest and her throat tightened. “Please…please no.” Tegan sobbed, she hated how weak she sounded. She stopped her screams and dropped her arms. “I’m not yours anymore.”

A sting of pain in her head struck, but the burning in her veins stopped. The Father’s hands skimmed up the side of her body and she cringed. ‘You belong to someone. Someone has bonded you.’

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